I started GumdropSwap when I was laid off early in 2009. I was appalled to discover how many people throw away clothes in great condition. Especially when so many families are struggling financially. As a new mom, I know how fast children grow and the strain to keep up with the demand. I wanted to figure out a way for parents to get rid of the things their kids had outgrown and be able to get "new" clothes with minimal cost. I was also determined to have an eco-friendly business. It's an opportunity for them to save money while respecting our planet. I launched the website http://www.gumdropswap.com in September.
It was supposed to be an internet-based company. I needed somewhere to store the growing inventory and a friend was gracious enough to let me use their office. As I told Connecticut parents about the business, I discovered that the local customers wanted to come touch the merchandise and it made sense not to make them pay postal fees if they could come in person. So, I prayed about the option of opening a boutique as part of the service. I'm planning to sign a lease in the new year. It amazes me how this business has grown from a crazy idea I got in the shower one morning to a full-blown retail/internet enterprise in less than a year. I've invested most of my personal savings, 1000s of hours I could (should) have been sleeping, and many tears to get here. I don't regret it either. Many times I've considered halting the process. But it sort of took on a life of its own. Now I have the media calling to do stories and family and friends encouraging me. That keeps me going when I can barely keep my eyes open to update the website at 1am.
I am so blessed to be a mother to my daughter. I'm in awe when I remember urging her to take her first steps earlier this year. Prodding her to say words we could understand. Now, she doesn't stop talking! I melt when she says "I love you mommy" and "I'm sorry". She sleeps in her crib now without a fight. Her independence is heart-warming and sad. She doesn't need me as much anymore. Maybe this is good timing with GumdropSwap needing more and more of my attention.
So, 2010 should be full of more surprises. I don't believe in New Years resolutions. Instead, I like to make a proclamation. The New Year will be full of success and personal happiness. Now that's something to look forward to! And I wish the same for all of you reading this.